Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wales

Found an item in the 1851 census which shows my 1845 ancestral twins Ellis & Griffith as having surname Williams. They are "scholars/paupers" living with their grandparents. No one else is in the household, so I'm beginning to think that mother Sydney died in childbirth or soon after - no death record to be found though. Grandfather Griffith Ellis is noted as both as a tailor and "Chelsea Pensioner" (ie discharged from armed services). So I may chase those records next.

So I think that young Griffith either changed his name or was adopted by his grandfather, and they lived in the same household until his grandfather's death at age 90 just after the 1871 census. The last record I have found of him in written records is the 1901 census, where he has wife and an unmarried daughter living with him. At this point he is recorded as being "shoemaker / farmer".

In any case, the fact that both boys were on the record as Williamses for at least 6 years strengthens the case that the purported father was an Ellis Williams, and may even have been known to the boys.

I've just finished reading geneticist Steve Jones' book "Y: The Descent of Man", which has a chapter on his own Welsh heritage. Apparently Welsh Y Chromosomes are tied to men of Basque heritage, as well as being linked to some of the original colonizers of the Americas. So when the Welsh recolonized Patagonia late last century, they were reuniting with old genetic stock. This particular book is a bit of a rambling read. I prefer his earlier "The Language of the Blood".

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